AUSTRALIA – Medical termination of pregnancy service delivery in the context of decentralization: social and structural influences

Medical termination of pregnancy (MToP) is a safe and acceptable abortion option. Depending on country context, MToP can be administered by general practitioners and mid-level healthcare providers in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Like other high-income countries, a range of social and structural barriers to MToP service provision exist in Australia. To counter some of these barriers, geographic decentralization of MToP was undertaken in rural Victoria, Australia, through training service providers about MToP to increase service delivery opportunities. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that enabled and challenged the decentralization process.

AUSTRALIA – A reproductive rights framework supporting law reform on termination of pregnancy in the Northern Territory of Australia

Against a background of advocacy and action by academics, health and legal professionals, and members of the public, in 2014 to 2015 we undertook a collaborative project funded by Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University on women’s health and law in the Northern Territory (NT). We gained research ethics permission to analyse over 5,000 cases of surgical termination of pregnancy, and some of that data is presented here. We undertook a literature review, examined the compliance of the NT legislation with international human rights obligations, and held a forum to discuss local issues viewed through the lens of women’s reproductive health rights. This included consideration of the availability of early termination by the medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. Following the project, we continued to engage in local advocacy which came to fruition with legislative reform in July 2017.

AUSTRALIA – Good news and bad news

Good News: On 10 April, the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) reports, in a landmark decision, the High Court confirmed that women have the right to safely and privately access reproductive healthcare without being accosted and intimidated.

Bad news: In the last week of March 2019, the Tabbot Foundation closed down. The cost of running the service, in a country where grants, government subsidies and benefactors do not exist for such things, was too much.

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© 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.

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